Product Description: This is a nice and extremely desirable SS Marksman Master Shooter Sleeve Diamond. These SS marksmanship sleeve diamonds were introduced in 1937 to recognize skilled riflemen, and are difficult to find today. This one is the Master Shooter award, which was the very highest grade in the marksmanship diamond series. It is in near mint condition, showing only minor wear and aging, with no mothing or other damage. The design of this diamond features a “target” of four concentric circles around a central bullseye, surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves, all hand embroidered in aluminum wire bullion. This bullion is nearly perfect, with only slight wear, and is tight and highly detailed as one would typically expect to see on an original piece of this caliber. The diamond is made of typical SS black wool. The original RZM paper tag on the reverse is still intact. The tag features the RZM logo, the stamped numeric code of the manufacturer, and an “F” tax code. This SS Marksman Master Shooter Sleeve Diamond measures approximately 3 inches tall by 2 inches wide. None of the SS marksmanship diamonds are common; this highest award was extremely difficult to qualify for, was made in very small numbers, and is very rare.
Historical Description: The German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht), as formed in 1935, and as they existed until the end of World War 2, consisted of the Army (Heer), the Air Force (Luftwaffe) and the Navy (Kriegsmarine). The Waffen-SS fell under the command of the Wehrmacht during the war. Each of these branches of service had a unique eagle design that was worn on both the formal dress and parade uniforms, and the field uniforms, of the members of that branch. These eagles were worn on soft headgear, including service and field caps, as well as on the uniform jacket. In the Heer, the Luftwaffe, and the Kriegsmarine, this eagle was worn on the chest of the tunic; collectors have termed these “breast eagles.” The Heer and the Luftwaffe generally used the same eagle style, though variations in color of the eagle or the backing distinguish between the two. The Luftwaffe used their own flying eagle emblem. The Waffen-SS sleeve eagle (and cap eagle) had wings that came to a distinctive tapered point. The cap, breast and sleeve eagles used by the various military branches were manufactured in many variations. There were machine-woven and machine embroidered versions, usually used by officers and NCOs. Hand-embroidered bullion wire eagles were typically for officers. There were metal eagles, for caps, or for uniforms that were intended to have detachable insignia. There were even eagles embroidered on camouflage fabric, intended for use on special field uniforms. There were also eagles in specific colors for use on tropical uniforms. Some of these eagles were mass-produced and are still common today. Others were, and are, very rare.
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